Meet David Hammons, Author of Alice Takes Back Wonderland
DH: I'm a constant adventurer. Whether it's the adventure of lunch or marriage or hiking Machu Picchu, I'm always looking for an interesting life experience. I suppose it's more a curiosity than anything. I'm always wanting to learn or see something new. That's what I love about books. I don't have to leave Springfield to do something fantastic!
BBB: What inspired your book, Alice Takes Back Wonderland?
DH: Honestly, it started out as a parody. I saw fairy tale retellings were popular, and thought no one had written a parody of it yet. So I had this ludicrous idea of Alice with an uzi, and wanted to crank the genre up to 11 and have her team up with a whole bunch of other fairy tales in the most awesomely over-the-top concept ever. But when I came up with these ideas, I realized there wasn't much room for comedy, and that I actually liked the concept. So I decided to write it straight, not as a parody. And instead of silly it turned into a sort of "League of Extraordinary Gentlemen" concept, and I really fell in love with all these fairy tales teaming up to help Alice.
DH: I wanted to approach Alice from a very personal perspective. In other retellings or sequels of this genre, they all treat Alice as this tragic person who is losing her mind, that Wonderland is either the cause or symptom of her madness. Wonderland is something Alice has to overcome, rather than being helpful to her. I wanted to flip that on its head, and say that Wonderland is her refuge. She's a teenager forced to take behavioral modification drugs to treat what doctors say is an illness but is in fact one of the best parts of her. It's really where the story started to matter for me, because that was my experience when I was a teenager and I know what those sorts of pills can do to a young person's mind. Alice struggles to do what is expected of her, even though she's an extraordinarily unique person, and since she's been told what she is is wrong, and has been given medication to change who she is, she doesn't know who she is. That gives her lots of opportunity for growth, and learning how wonderful Wonderland is and how special it is to her. That's why she has to fight to save it.
BBB: What are you currently working on?
DH: I'm ankle-deep in a Historical Fantasy at the moment. It's about Alexander the Great's siege of Tyre, but with lots of magic and a few other surprises. I don't know if historical fantasy is really a thing at the moment, but I love the idea of looking at real history from a fantastical perspective. I love fantasy, but history itself is so fantastical that if you just add a little magic some of the real-life stories can be wonderful.
BBB: How can readers discover more about you and your work?
DH: There's Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6564906.David_D_Hammons and Facebook, or follow me on Twitter at @DavidDHammons. Curiosity Quills has been fantastic to work with, and I have a couple other books coming out with them soon (including a parody that I did NOT play straight) so be on the lookout for those too.